2023 plans

The new year has started and the trip blog from 2022 has finishes, time to look forward on the plans for this year.

Yesterday i officially turned over my VFROC job to my succeeder and upcoming Thursday i have the last evaluation from the Christmas Truckrun and then i don;t have any obligations to other organisations any more.
That doesn’t mean i don’t do anything for others, i still man the booth for the VFROC one of the days at the motor convention, still applied for a task at Truckrun Horst and will do the Christmas truckrun as a traffic controller but all as a volunteer for the one day of the event without any obligations around the events.

Finished with obligations other than my day job i slowly can start looking into the big plans.
I need to look at the situation in South Africa, you can say there is a new apartheid going on but now the black community against the white.
The whole apartheid was wrong but that is the past and doing the same when you as an oppressed population reach the moment you can run the country you’re no better than the people in the old days. Maybe even worse because you didn’t learn from the past and other peoples mistakes.
That said, i still look into it because the news only shows the worst and often it’s not very different than the worst situations in your own country.
The fact that i only get in by a work permit in a critical skills job far at least 2 years i have South America as plan B.
I haven’t get to a deeper look for that option and in the worst case i have a plan C but i get to that later on.

That’s all internet research, phone calls and i hope to get some meetings with tour operators. I keep you posted on that when something is worth mentioning.
There is still a need for fun and that fun is also practice and learning opportunity’s.
The “new” bike and getting into the offroad community brings not only new challenges but also new friends and with one of those new friends the first weekend trip will happen somewhere in April.
He’s German living near Cologne a hair over an hour from here and Germany is not allowing much offroad riding so we planned to do the TET NL. We did a big chunk of the new part as a day of fun and learning for him and that weekend we will going north with a night camping.
Plans are not made but other than a definite date and where we go pick up the trail will not be made, just how i like it.

Then the wish is to make 2 long trips. Last year i did the big trip in July because of the limited window up north but this year i go in September again and even 2 weeks later.
I only can take 4 vacation days to the new year and every year i’m left with more than that so this year i want to take those days to have fun and not to take days off to avoid sponsoring the IRS (vacation days paid are heavily taxed over here) but not able to make use of them.
So to break the long time between the period with free days off (Easter, Ascension Day etc.) i’m planning to to some TET Serbia.

It’s 2 long days to get there and 2 even longer days to get back but i haven’t been to Serbia yet. The TET (turquoise, green and purple) will be 6 to 7 days but it’s not a goal to do it complete. The four days there and back are sacrificial and probably nuts and i will see how much i get done in 6 days and i’m also not sure when i will go.
There is the issue Serbia – Kosovo going hot and cold, i will keep an eye on that and if it will be too dangerous to go when i leave i have the TET Croatia and Bosnia with maybe Montenegro as a back up, Montenegro and Albany are too far for a short trip which is a shame because i really like those country’s but like i said, i’ve non been in Serbia yet so that is the first choice.

Then September…
Last year i went to Discover Overland for the first time, i wanted to go there before but i’m always on vacation the first three weeks of September and this weekend is always the third weekend of September and this year that would be 15 – 17.
The 15th is a Friday and the campsite opens at 18:00, plan is to pack Sporherre the day(‘s) before and take Ragnarok to work where i finish at 16:00, go home make final checks and head of for Discover Overland. Enjoy the Friday and Saturday and leave Sunday morning on a sacrificial day to the south of France.
From there it’s on to Andorra and from there into Spain, hopefully visit Gibraltar and on to Portugal out via the Picos de Europe and a Sacrificial day home.
Planing on doing the TET Andorra, Spain and Portugal i discovered that will be at least 4 day’s more than i have.

That trip is still a work in progress, the red’s sticking out are TET tracks and the Purple are my blue routes over the red TET.
For now it’s looking for alternative tracks and try to find out what parts of the TET are the least exciting to skip using paved roads to buy some time and try to persuade my boss to grant me 4 weeks for once but that might be difficult.
The whole Covid and Russian invasion had the truck building industry flat on it’s ass and a lot of trucks we ordered are coming in around that time.
But it’s still a long time to figure out what to do. Worst case scenario will be me heading of that way without any plan start following the TET and finding my own way until the time is up and i have to hurry home.

That’s it, none of the plans are poured in concrete and none of the plans are definite just like the future is not definite.
We still live in crazy times and when i need to adapt to that craziness i will, just like i did in 2020 with my first big trip. I managed then with no experience travelling the way i do now and now 3 trips in i’m even confident enough to go without any plan.
I always can check how long it takes to get back home and head that way when needed.
Can’t wait to get riding other tracks than the commute options again.

11 Replies to “2023 plans”

  1. Those are swell plans Ray. Did not really know about the new β€˜apartheid’ situation in SA… The trips to eastern and southern Europe look elaborate but should be truly interesting. Only visited parts of the regions you plan to go to. Somehow I envy you – then again I get to go to different places. Curious to find what will become a reality – ofcourse I wish for you that it will all work out. Cheers! Big bro hug!

    1. Thanks, and off course one other item… The yearly remembrance ice cream for Fred, maybe we can make it a whole day this year going for diner somewhere?

  2. Super Ray, wat een plannen in het vooruitzicht. Je schrijft “Worst case scenario will be me heading of that way without any plan” 🀣 maar dat wil je toch altijd zo? In ieder geval, veel moois om naar uit te kijken voor jou maar ook voor ons volgers. Succes man πŸ‘

    1. Klopt maar meestal heb ik wel een route van huis tot thuis met een tijdsbestek. Het vrije ervan is dat het slechts een richtlijn is en ik hier en daar wel afwijk.
      In dit scenario gaat het dan geheel zonder route worden wat op zich met mooiste is maar mar een beperkte tijd ga ik dan ook veel mislopen maar mogelijk ook dingen ontdekken die ik anders gemist had maar ik kan altijd must see plekken markeren en er proberen naartoe te navigeren.

      1. I hope so! Tips like “stick your foot out in the curve” are ok for 100 kg MX fun machines, but pretty dangerous on a 200 kg “real” bike.

        1. I saw a clip about that on YouTube but forgot to mark it as watch later and can’t find it again.
          Thanks for subscribing here too.

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